Depending on how serious a burn is, it may be possible to treat it at home. For minor burns, keep the burn clean and don’t burst any blisters that form. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids following your injury.

How do I treat?

  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes – don’t use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances such as butter.
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery that’s near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies – but don’t move anything that’s stuck to the skin.
  • Keep your wound covered with a non-stick dressing until it heals.
  • Take simple over the counter pain relief e.g. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen.
  • If your burn is over a joint, keep the injured parts moving several times a day. This is to prevent stiffness and tightening of the new skin.

When should I seek advice?

More serious burns require professional medical attention. You should go to a hospital A&E department for:

  • all chemical and electrical burns
  • large or deep burns – any burn bigger than your hand
  • burns that cause white or charred skin – any size
  • burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that cause blisters

If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also seek medical attention. Some symptoms may be delayed and can include:

  • coughing
  • a sore throat
  • difficulty breathing
  • facial burns

People at greater risk from the effects of burns, such as children under five years old and pregnant women, should also get medical attention after a burn or scald.

For minor burns and scalds seek further medical attention if the following occurs;

  • The burn hasn’t healed or there are still blisters after 2 weeks
  • The wound becomes hot, red or swollen, as this may indicate that the wound is infected.

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